During the course of this project, every time I looked up from working on my watch, I was in shock that I’d been working for so long; hence my title.

This project was a crazy one. My goal was to make a vector, photo-realistic time piece. The amount of time that went into this was insane. I cannot even begin to describe every little detail that had to be looked at on it’s own. But here’s a run down of my whole process…


I started out looking at photos of watches that I liked. I picked a few and then sketched what I liked the most about them. I tried to pay attention to shapes and lighting.

During sketching I settled on a watch that I really liked. It was Kate Spade. I decided to take out and change a few things about it to make it more “my style”, like getting rid of the iconic spade, removing the bling -eww- and making the colors and shapes look more matte.

First Tries

I started out making the backbone of my watch face and went from there. I added light and shadows which, of course, were changed and fixed later on. I got feedback that they looked a little muddy on my first draft so I fixed them up later. Then I went for the band connectors. Getting those to look realistic was pretty difficult and it took a LONG time. Next I added in the knobs and band itself. Here’s my incomplete “half way” draft.

Getting it Right

I was having a really hard time with my watch after working for hours on it. So I decided to take a step back and take a break. I gave it a few days and then went back to my project.

I realized that if I could focus on one section rather than the whole watch, everything was simpler and I didn’t feel so overwhelmed. I did this by grouping and layering everything meticulously. I now have a deep love of Illustrator layers. I’ll never go back to sloppily organized graphics.

I added in all of the details on my watch face and paid particular attention to light and shadow on the hands of my watch. I kept my watch band a smooth leather, as I would prefer it and gave my watch face a little color, just to spice it up.

Here’s what I came up with:

On the left is the original photo that I used to centered my design around, the middle is my complete design and on the right is a highlighted version of the final vector.

The light and shadows create a real-life feel as do all of the tiny detail that you wouldn’t necessarily see at first when looking at a photo of a watch.

This project was crazy hard but I had a great time doing it!

Page Sias

Page Sias

Student at Brigham Young University - Idaho
Page is a senior studying Communication at BYU-I. She loves reading, napping, taking photos and editing them, and spending time with her husband and puppy. She will graduate in April of 2017.

For more from Page, check out www.pagenwilliams.com
Page Sias

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